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Hillsborough County Adopts Face Mask Ordinance

Jun 22, 2020

Face masks will now be required when entering a business in Hillsborough County.

The county's Emergency Policy Group adopted the ordinance on a vote of 5-3 Monday after more than two hours of debate.

Non-compliance with the ordinance could result in misdemeanor charges. Sheriff Chad Chronister, who voted against it, warned compliance could put a strain on the county's law enforcement agencies.

An attempt to remove the criminal penalty failed after county attorney Christine Beck said it would turn the ordinance into a "strong suggestion" to wear masks.

Read more: DeSantis Says Coronavirus Masks Should Be Voluntary, Citing Constitution

It comes as COVID-19 cases in the county are rising quickly. Before the vote, the group heard from representatives from the county's hospitals about the possible impact of rising cases.

The cities of Tampa and St. Petersburg have already enacted their own mask requirements. Lakeland commissioners discussed a mask ordinance Monday but took no action.

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